MOSCOW, August 14 (RIA Novosti) - Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) has turned to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for approval to release into the sea groundwater from its Fukushima No 1 nuclear reactor after reducing its substance levels, The Japan News reports on Thursday.
The plan is to pump 500 to 700 tons of groundwater per day from wells dug around the No 1 and No 4 reactors and near the port for the power station.
The pumped-up groundwater will be then purified of radioactive materials such as cesium and strontium to reduce its contamination level before being released into the sea inside the port.
TEPCO hopes the released water will half the daily amount of groundwater entering the basements of reactor buildings at the plant.
The operation tis aimed to decrease of the total amount of contaminated water in the basements by preventing groundwater from flowing into the basements and mixing with highly radioactive water there.
The plan has already drawn opposition from local fishery industries.
TEPCO promised not to launch the operation unless local consent is obtained even if the NRA approves the plan.
On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was hit by a powerful earthquake and a subsequent tsunami, causing a partial meltdown of three of the plant’s nuclear reactors, as radiation leaked into the atmosphere, soil and sea. The incident became the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.